Belle Grove Plantation Open for the 2022 Season with New Exhibit Unearthing Enslaved Lives at Belle Grove Now on View
Belle Grove Plantation's 2022 season will begin on March 19. “We are delighted to be open for the 2022 season and to debut a new exhibit about the individuals enslaved at Belle Grove, which is essential to understanding the full history here,” said executive director Kristen Laise.
The new, permanent exhibit, Unearthing Enslaved Lives at Belle Grove, features the archaeology conducted at the Enslaved Quarter Site in 2015-2019. The 60,000 excavated artifacts, and supporting archival research, reveal details about the more than 270 men, women, and children the Hite family enslaved. They show how these individuals built lives for themselves, despite the oppressive conditions of slavery, and how their labors shaped the economy and history of the Shenandoah Valley. “After seven years of research, it is rewarding to have the artifacts and project findings on display for the public to see,” said Matthew Greer, the lead archeologist for the project.
The historic site, which was opened to the public 1967, has returned to pre-pandemic operations, including offering daily tours, school and group tours, event rentals, and special events. Until October 31, guided tours of the Manor House are offered Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. at :15 minutes past each hour. The Belle Grove grounds, and the Beverley B. Shoemaker Welcome Center (including the Museum Shop and exhibits) are also open during these hours. More information may be found here.
Belle Grove plans to host a full schedule of events in 2022, including the “Of Ale and History” Beer Festival on May 7. Now in its 27th year, this festival is Virginia’s longest running Beer Festival, and tickets will go on sale in April. A full list of Belle Grove events may be found at www.bellegrove.org/calendar.
As a partner in Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, Belle Grove also has programs led by National Park Rangers. The spring schedule includes 30-minute, free programs at 11:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. One Sunday each month, the 2:30 p.m. program is Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life of the Enslaved Cook Judah, which discusses the life of Judah, the enslaved cook of Belle Grove. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/cebe.